Thread Number: 22875
Hoover SoftGuard Series
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Post# 255826   11/10/2013 at 00:24 (3,675 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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I received a private message from Baginthevac regarding a Hoover Widepath series upright I posted a spec sheet for at one time in addition to other vacs in a previous thread. This thread is in regards to anything and all regarding the 15" cleaning path, non-Windtunnel, bagged or bagless Widepath, Breathe Easy, and/ or Soft Guard Series.

So for Nathaniel and anyone else interested, here is some of my knowledge regarding this series and I encourage anyone with more knowledge to supplement in addition to correcting me regarding anything!! I hope we get lots of pictures of all sorts of vacs from this series!!! There were many colors, many models and the line spanned a few years! So please enjoy and post! I love the hood style and headlights on these!

I remember shopping around 1999 in Sears and seeing vacuums of this style in the store. Originally this series started out with I believe a 7.3 Amp motor. Then later on Hoover, in competition with Dirt Devil, Eureka and other brands switched all their uprights to a 12 Amp motor, including on Elites which were 7.2 Amp motors. This series was a fan first system, with filter on front of bag door. Later this series was evolved to become Hoovers first Twin Chamber bagless vacuum cleaner: the dark green U5288-900 model.

As stated above I have seen models of this styling being called: Widepath, Breathe Easy and Soft Guard. All were 15", that's where the Widepath name came in. Some models had a plain door front and others had filter door on the bag door. The filters on the door were a 4 stage multi-layered with white and green layers similar to the Windtunnel Supreme final exhaust filter except that the Breathe Easy series was a square filter on the bag door panel. They had the red edge groomers on sides of T-shaped cleaning head and front bumpers were a soft grip material that was furniture friendly. All of the ones I've seen except for a Commercial bagged and bagless model have had a headlight. **Attached link is the Commercial series of the Softguard uprights: C1702-900.


This post was last edited 11/10/2013 at 02:20
Post# 255827 , Reply# 1   11/10/2013 at 00:30 (3,675 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
Back side

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Back side of Hoover spec sheet for the Hoover Widepath U5258-900. This model was a later model to the series at it had the 12Amp motor and translucent bag door. I believe this is the same color blue as found on the Hoover Windtunnel Plus S3639 canister vacuum, PowerMax Deluxe S3606 canister vacuum and Windtunnel Supreme U5458-910.

Post# 255828 , Reply# 2   11/10/2013 at 00:43 (3,675 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
Hoover SoftGuard U5248-930

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This is a beige one that I refurbed and sold back in 2008. Permanently attached hoses on these style uprights. The hoses stretched probably about 7'. Upholstery nozzle, dusting brush and crevice tool stored on top of bag door behind a door. 1 extension wand was stored on the side along with spare bag and spare belt storage. The bagged series utilized the Hoover Type Z bag, and belt is 38528-040. On the height adjustment knob was an attachment setting, which shut a door closing off airflow to the agitator thereby giving full suction to the hose. The brush roll continues to spin when in attachment mode.

***Link leads to the Hoover Commercial plain bag door C1700-900. FYI: The commercial series of all these machines I believe is discontinued. The links came up during a google search. These machines do not appear under the current lineup of Hoover machines.


Post# 255830 , Reply# 3   11/10/2013 at 00:51 (3,675 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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This is the first and only Hoover upright I have seen with this fantastic looking navy blue agitator. Even other machines of this series I have only seen with either a white bristle or very pale, sky blue looking color. When I got this vacuum, the brush roll was in very bad shape with seized end bearing and bad end cap. I loved agitator brush color so much though. I tried to clean it up real well and replaced end cap, bearing, agitator cap end.

This is from the tan machine above the U5248-930. I believe this model was the 7.3 Amp motor.

Post# 255831 , Reply# 4   11/10/2013 at 00:56 (3,675 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
Hoover Bagless U5280-940

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A later model of the bagless series with 12Amp motor. With exception of the Twin Chamber dirt cup, the rest of the machine is based off the bagged series.

Attached link is to the commercial bagless dirtcup model: C1710-900. Hoover's website has an error on this one. It should not say Windtunnel. This machine was not a Windtunnel.


Post# 255833 , Reply# 5   11/10/2013 at 01:01 (3,675 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
2 Hoover Bagless uprights

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The blue one is the U5280-940. The red one is the U5298-900. I refurbed and sold both of these machines back in 2008. Both worked well. I do not remember differences between them other than color.

In contrast to the bagged series, the on/off switch for the bagless series is a large flip switch like many of the Caddy Vac machines and is located where the handle connects to the top of bagless compartment. Tools for these models were stored on back of machine except for crevice tool which was an elongated version and stored in the extension wand.

*** Please note that the crevice tool on the blue bagless unit is not original to that unit, it is not the right fit.

Post# 255835 , Reply# 6   11/10/2013 at 01:20 (3,675 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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Here's a link to a previous thread on Vacuumland for a Hoover Soft Guard. The Turbo Power version of this system was the Hoover Turbo Power 4500. The Turbo Power series was sold at Authorized Hoover dealer stores primarily but I've also seen them years ago at Boscovs and Strawbridges.


Post# 255838 , Reply# 7   11/10/2013 at 02:29 (3,675 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
Sears Pamphlets

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Found some Sears pamphlets that Tom Gasko sent me a while back. The first machine on the left came from August 2009. Sears had the same beige Breathe Easy U5248-930 like the one I have above featuring 19.5 Cleaning Effectiveness Per Amp Rating.

From Left: Dirt Finder equipped Hoover Breathe Easy with Dirt Finder. 20.0 Cleaning Effectiveness Per Amp Rating. Color appears to be black machine with filter on bag compartment door Model: U5270-930.

Middle Hoover Bagless Twin Chamber U5288-900 with 20.0 CEA rating. 31 foot cord.

Far Right: Hoover with Soft Guard Model U5251-900 in a deep blue. 24' cord, 5 stage filter on front bag cover.

Post# 255933 , Reply# 8   11/10/2013 at 12:14 (3,675 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        
Thanks So Much!

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I've always loved that hood style on these Hoovers, but there seems there was much more variety than I thought! The Breathe Easy with the dirt finder must be pretty rare at this point. I've always wondered why they called the filter a cassette; I immediately think of a compact cassette for audio. 


I will look around for more pictures, and I must find one of the blue Hoover agitators. Thanks again for a wonderful thread! 

Post# 255972 , Reply# 9   11/10/2013 at 13:39 (3,675 days old) by tylerawells (-)        

I wish more vacuum makers would use navy blue for their machines. We had a beige Soft-Guard Breathe Easy when I was growing up, it worked really good. They did make some dual chamber bagless WindTunnels, did those have the WindTunnel technology in it on a soft-guard series platform or did they just stick the WindTunnel name on a dual chamber bagless to charge a premium?

Post# 256006 , Reply# 10   11/10/2013 at 17:54 (3,674 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
Windtunnel Bagless is another series.

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Tyler the Bagless Twin Chamber above and the Windtunnel Bagless Twin Chamber are VERY DIFFERENT!!!

Indeed the Windtunnel Bagless was a different machine. The Windtunnel Bagless utilized the twin chamber bagless dirt cup system as that was one of Hoover's first inceptions into the residential bagless vacuum market. However the Windtunnel bagless is a different motor with greater power in addition to a Clean Air designed machine.

The Breathe Easy, Soft Guard Series above was a fan first system as were the Elite, PowerDrive, Caddy Vac and many other Hoover uprights. The Windtunnel bagless was a dirt cup first model with separate hoses from agitator to dirt cup and separate user attachment hose. The Windtunnel Bagless upright has the same Windtunnel cavity as the bagged Windtunnel Supreme upright series.

Below is a picture of a Bagless Windtunnel bottom. Notice the different wheels and if you look carefully enough you can see the airflow path and Windtunnel cavity. The cord storage, handle, front head, Base plate, hose system, everything is different.

Post# 264485 , Reply# 11   1/22/2014 at 17:37 (3,601 days old) by stricklybojack (Southern California)        
Hoover c1700-900 still available at VDC

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Can somebody explain the desirability of this basic machine design over another member of the Hoover line up? What was the thinking here? Where does this machine excel? How does this dirty air design compare to a Windtunnel in performance? What is the rarest version of this beast? Thanks in advance...

CLICK HERE TO GO TO stricklybojack's LINK

Post# 321994 , Reply# 12   4/14/2015 at 17:46 (3,154 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

I just bought the C1700-900 Breathe Easy (Soft Guard WidePath) for only $10.00 but it has a clear bottom plate. When did Hoover change the bottom plate from black to clear?

What is the diffrence between the dark blue, lite blue, white & green bristle brush rollers? Is one stiffer then the others or softer; or are they made for different carpets?

Post# 459476 , Reply# 13   1/14/2023 at 19:10 (322 days old) by AmtrakSebo1997 (Im stuck in the backrooms, help)        

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I used that image of that widepath brochure for my binder cover, is that ok with you?

Post# 466940 , Reply# 14   10/20/2023 at 08:44 by Powerstarenergy (Portland, Tennessee)        
Hoover Powermax ii With Softguard

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My grandma from my dadís side used to own the Hoover Powermax ii With Softguard, but she gave it to someone else because it was getting to be too heavy for her. The Hoover Powermax ii With Softguard still remains to this day to be one of my most wanted vacuums.

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Post# 467274 , Reply# 15   11/4/2023 at 00:25 by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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The PowerMax II was a good looking unit and they do appear on eBay, FB Marketplace and other places. It was a hybrid of the Hoover CaddyVac floorhead with Breathe Easy/ WidePath Bag and handle assembly.

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